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The ‘Black Vote’ again taken for granted

  • Written by NNPA News Service

by Cloves Campbell Jr.

There are less than 100 days until voters throughout the country cast their votes for the next president of the United States of America as well as candidates for U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, state legislatures and city councils. The campaign war chests for President Obama and Mitt Romney total almost $3 billion! However, as of this writing, not one dollar has been spent in the "Black Press."

Once again the Black Press has been relegated to an "Oh, By the Way" campaign that features a single half-page ad placed two weeks before the election in all black newspapers, totaling a shameful $1.2 million dollars! That is the money placed by the Obama for America Campaign (OFA). The Romney Campaign has zero dollars allocated!

To put this all into paper perspective, let me give you some background:

In January of this year, we had conversations with the OFA campaign. At that time, we were told that money was not coming in as expected so they could not talk about advertising in black newspapers. In late April, after we found out that the OFA campaign had only $800 million, we put together a very detailed advertising proposal for $21 million, which included multiple insertions in all NNPA publications from June through November.

The plan recommended a campaign that encouraged three phases of action. The first steps were "Voters registration – you can't vote if you are not registered." Second, "Proper ID – What to take to the polls." Understanding that voter suppression laws vary from state to state, it is important that voters know what to take to the polls in order to vote. The last stop is "GOTV – get out the vote." Mobilizing our communities to go to the polls is the key to winning the upcoming election. Our proposal also included an aggressive digital and social media campaign as well.

Today, we are once again in a position of being taken for granted. Does Jim Messina (President Obama's campaign manager) know something about black folks that we didn't know? I am beginning to wonder where are the black folks who are advising this campaign? Do they not see the money being spent around them? Are they not asking why are there no black pollsters, ad agencies, placement firms, or other black-owned businesses reaping the benefits of the only $3 billion being spent in this campaign season.


At the end of the election, over $3 billion will be spent. Some people will be very happy. They will not care who wins. With the movie "Trading Places," this quote comes to mind: "No matter what happens.....Duke and Duke still get their commission!"

What are we to do? Do we stand by and again wait four more years?

Let's get moving now! Come on Roland Martin, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cliff Kelly, Steve Harvey, Oprah Winfrey! Let's talk about this now.


(Cloves Campbell Jr. is chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and publisher of the Arizona Informant)


0 #2 ouroneamerica 2012-08-11 23:03
This is crap. This is why black people can not be taken seriously, How about the millions of white people who do not live in a swing state. They get zilch in the way of attention. Candidates, put their money where it is needed, not where people want it. Nobody get's their assed kissed in elections. Unless the candidate needs you MORE than you need them you will not get attention...and James, shut up. Just as many voted for him because he was black as voted against him because he wasn't white.
0 #1 James A. Sdoia 2012-08-10 21:51
Of course the "Black vote" is taken for granted. Over 98% of African Americans voted for President Obama because he was a Democrat and Black. And they will do so again in 2012 for the same reason, despite the fact that unemployment in the Black community is at an historic high and that Mitt Romney is much more qualified to be President than President Obama. Want campaign advertising $$'s to flow in from both parties? Stop being a monolithic voting block..

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